A 39-year-old Tipp City man was sent to prison for six years Tuesday after pleading guilty in two methamphetamine trafficking cases.
Julio C. Villalobos was set to go to trial today in Fayette County Common Pleas Court, but instead reached a plea deal Tuesday with the Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office. He pleaded guilty to second-degree felony trafficking in meth and third-degree felony trafficking in meth.
“We are very pleased with the work of the Washington Court House Police Department in this case,” said Fayette County Prosecutor Jess Weade. “They brought us a very good case that was easy to prosecute. This is a strong and appropriate sentence, and hopefully one that sends a message.”
On April 22, Washington Police Department officers responded to 521 Gibbs Ave. in reference to a suspicious male reportedly trying to gain access to the residence by checking doors and windows. The caller told dispatch that a Hispanic man had arrived in a gray pickup truck, which was sitting in front of 521 Gibbs Ave.
An officer made contact with the man — identified as Villalobos — while he was sitting in the driver’s seat of his vehicle with the engine running, according to reports. A strong odor of marijuana emitted from the vehicle as Villalobos exited, police said.
Police conducted a probable cause search of the vehicle and found a gray box sitting beside the console on the passenger seat. An officer picked it up and found a large magnet attached to the back of the box. When he opened it, inside was what appeared to be a box of band-aids, reports said.
“I pulled the box out and opened the flap, and located inside was a clear plastic bag that contained large crystal like rocks presumed to be methamphetamine,” wrote Ptl. Justin L. Everhart in his report.
The crystal substance later field tested positive for meth, police said.
After the meth was discovered, Villalobos was arrested and placed into the back seat of a patrol vehicle. As the search continued, a black book was found that seemed to be used as a ledger for keeping track of narcotics and sales, according to reports.
Once back at the Washington Police Department, officers used the scales in evidence processing to determine the amount of meth found in Villalobos’s vehicle was approximately 28.27 grams, reports said.
The second case stemmed from an incident that occurred Dec. 11, 2017 when Villalobos was allegedly in possession of both methamphetamine and heroin, according to the grand jury indictment.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica